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What is an opioid drug

Opioids, sometimes called narcotics, are a type of drug.


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M, morph for morphine ; meth for methadone ; percs for Percodan, Percocet ; juice for Dilaudid. Opioids are a family of drugs that are usually prescribed to relieve pain. Examples include codeine in Tylenol No.

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When people think of opioid use problems or addictions, they may think of street-obtained, or "street" opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl. However, problematic opioid use can also include improperly taking prescribed opioid medications such as oxycodone, morphine or codeine, or taking an opioid medication that was not prescribed for you. Opioids are a class of powerful drugs that are usually prescribed to treat severe pain.

If opioids are abused, they can create feelings of intense pleasure or euphoria, but they can also lead to fatal overdose. Opioids are an effective medication when used as prescribed, but they carry a risk of addiction because of their powerful effects. Both street-obtained and prescription opioids can be misused. Heroin is a common street opioid that can be snorted or smoked, though it carries the greatest risks when injected.

These risks include spreading HIV or hepatitis B or C by sharing needles, skin infections, collapsed veins, bacterial infections and overdoses. People can also misuse prescription medication by crushing the pill and then chewing, snorting or injecting it.

Opioid misuse and addiction

Fentanyl is an opioid that is prescribed as a skin patch. It is times more powerful than morphine and used to treat severe pain. Most street fentanyl in Canada is produced illegally as a powder and is being increasingly found in street drugs such as heroin and cocaine, and used to make tablets that look like prescription medications. Many overdoses have occurred because people did not know that what they were taking was contaminated with fentanyl.

If you or someone you know uses opioids, it is a good idea to have a free naloxone kit.

Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and allow time for medical help to arrive. If someone is overdosing, call right away! You can then use your naloxone kit while you wait for medical help. Opioid addiction is defined by a group of s, symptoms and behaviours that indicate a person is both physically and psychologically dependent on the substance.

These include:. Opioid addiction involves more than just physical dependence. For example, a person with cancer who is prescribed opioids for severe pain may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication, but is not addicted.

Prescription opioids

Opioid addiction also involves psychological dependence. Cravings and increasing tolerance may lead the person to buy drugs on the street or go to more than one doctor to get the same drug. They may smoke, snort, crush or inject the drug in order to feel high faster and more intensely. This could affect their relationships with family members or friends, or cause a person to neglect their responsibilities. Opioid addiction is caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors. They include:.

Methadone and buprenorphine are opioid medications that do not cause intoxication at the correct doses. When they are prescribed, they eliminate a person's withdrawal symptoms, which may help them stabilize their life. Opioid addiction treatments usually involve a combination of opioid agonist therapies and addiction treatment counselling.

Mike Evans video. Back to top. Your donation will help us get there. Keep your finger on our pulse — latest CAMH news, discoveries and ways to get involved delivered to your inbox. To unsubscribe at any time click the link in our mailing or : unsubscribe camh. Overview When people think of opioid use problems or addictions, they may think of street-obtained, or "street" opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl. These include: using over a longer period or using more than planned wanting to quit or cut down, or trying unsuccessfully to quit spending a lot of time and effort getting, using and recovering from opioids experiencing cravings failing to fulfil responsibilities at work, school or home as a result of opioid use continuing to use opioids despite the negative social consequences caused by opioid use giving up activities that were once enjoyable using opioids in dangerous situations needing to take more of the drug to get the same effect tolerance, a of physical dependence feeling ill when opioid use suddenly stops withdrawal, a of physical dependence crushing, snorting, smoking or injecting opioids running out of prescription medications early drawing on many sources for opioids e.

What are opioids?

They include: access to opioids, whether from legal or illegal sources physical tolerance to opioids the need to use increasing quantities compulsive use withdrawal symptoms. Risk factors for developing opioid addiction include: personal history of substance use issues involving any substance, including alcohol family history of substance use problems or addiction history of pre-adolescent sexual abuse history of psychiatric problems.

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Opioid addiction

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